Becoming an EMT is the first step to take when someone is wanting to enter the field of EMS. Basically, the EMT is the foundation to ALL of the upper levels of EMS professionals. It is very common for experienced AEMT's and Paramedics to quote that "to be a good Paramedic one MUST be a great EMT."
Emergency Medical Technicians deliver what is called "Basic Life Support" to patients suffering from a variety of medical issues. Don't let the term "Basic Life Support" fool you, it is more advanced than one would think. To complete an EMT course, a student will attend over 150 hours of classroom training paired with over 24 hours of in field clinical training. At the conclusion of their training, an EMT will be trained to perform airway management, patient assessments, treat medical conditions from difficulty breathing to complex cardiac conditions, perform childbirth, treat patients suffering from traumatic injuries, and professionally transport patients to appropriate medical facilities.
The Advanced EMT is the next step in the progression toward Paramedic. In order to start the AEMT program, candidats must first complete a State approved EMT course. Students wishing to enter the AEMT program do not have to take the NREMT exam prior to starting the AEMT course as long as they have 100% completed their EMT program.
AEMT's render the same care as EMT's, however, AEMT's are capable of providing a higher level of care. Advanced EMT's can administer IV's, give limited IV medications, insert advanced airways, transmit EKG's, administer intramuscular injections, administer intraosseous infusions, and give patients many more medications versus the EMT.
The AEMT will attend 150-200 additional hours of classroom training. In addition, the AEMT student will attend a minimum of 48 hours of in the field clinical training.